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Bill Handel

Assembly rejects statewide plastic bag ban bill

 
Posted August 26th, 2014 @ 7:29am

Photo Credit; Getty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Assembly on Monday rejected legislation that would make California the first state to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags, but the bill could be heard again later this week.

SB270 failed Monday on a 37-33 vote that crossed party lines after an hour-long debate largely focused on a 10-cent fee grocers can charge for bags.

The bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, makes an effort to encourage reusable bags by prohibiting stores from carrying single-use ones. It follows about 100 cities and counties, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, that previously banned plastic bags to fight litter in parks and water.

"It is time to bring the rest of the state up to speed with this environmentally and economically sound legislation," said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda. "Local jurisdictions have taught us this policy works."

But plastic bag manufacturers looking to prevent such a ban from succeeding on a statewide level have lobbied heavily against it. Similar bans in Washington and Massachusetts were considered this year but did not pass.

The measure also attracted opposition from paper bag makers because of the fee on bags that many grocers already provide for free.

"When you turn around and penalize these consumers for using a better alternative, we are creating a terrible policy for the state of California," said Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, a Republican from Camarillo who said lawmakers should find another approach to fighting the costly buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways.

Read more on the KFI News Blog

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